My partner and I went to our class and as usual we were moved around, partner to partner. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most advanced dancer, but one particular woman tried to be 'helpful' and gave me corrections, comments, advice etc. All that achieved was a complete destruction of my confidence and I had a really bad time. Is my reaction normal? Was her advice reasonable? What should I have done?
Desperate and still dancing x
My humble opinion only but my thought is that during tango - whether milongas, practicas or lessons - you NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER give advice unless it is asked for. It is really bad form! The only people who are good enough to give advice are the teacher. Even if advice is given in the best of intention, it can be destructive and be taken very negatively. So don't do it.
Why is it that men are so bad at taking advice for anyone other than teachers?
All women I know take advice from an experienced dancer with the calmness and credit it deserves ... and listen and improve as a result of it!
Yeh, yeh, yeh - lets get all anti-men!
The reason why a man may not like advice from someone other than a teacher is that (a) the person giving the advice does not have the credentials or experience to give advice, and (b) the advice was not sought after.
The other reason is that the confidence of all dancers, specially starters, can be pretty vulnerable. Getting advice from total strangers can be (rightly or wrongly) interpreted as: "you are making so many mistakes you shouldn't even be in the class".
Whether you like it or not, general politeness says that generally (for all circumstances, not just tango) you do not offer advice unless requested.
I agree both ways.
Men are bad at taking advice from anyone but their teacher. I give a TINY bit of advice to MY OWN partner and he almost starts crying ;)
That said, I agree with the premise that in life, tango classes included, you should not give advice unless asked for. It is a VERY bad assumption that the receiver of the advice will (a) appreciate it; (b) listen to it; (c) react well to it; and (d) not resent it.